Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fruit Fancy: Lemon Plums

A couple of weeks ago, while at the local Market District Giant Eagle (grocery store), I spotted a new, bright-yellow addition to the usual mounds of plums, peaches, and nectarines. The sign said "Lemon Plums" ($2.49/lb), and described them as a very rare fruit. The color was a little more fluorescent than a lemon's, but the bottom of the plums did have that nubby shape that is characteristic to both ends of the lemon. I bought one to satisfy my curiosity, especially since they weren't any more expensive than regular old tree-ripened black or red plums (makes you wonder how rare they really are!).

The sign said that, as the plum ripened, its brilliant lemon-yellow color would gradually turn to a pretty red hue. So I waited. And waited. I waited for over a week. FINALLY, the plum did start to turn red. It was actually rather a stunning display, as if the plum were in the midst of a slow-motion blush. I knew the plum was finally ripening by the actual firmness.

When Karl and I finally tasted it, we decided that yes, it was delicious, but it didn't really taste much different from a regular plum. Maybe for this time of year, it tastes sweeter than most plums, but we did wait almost 10 days for the thing to ripen.

Incidentally, I cannot find anything about this fruit on the internet. Weird, right? Even Wikipedia's article on Plums doesn't mention this particular "cultivar" ("a plant variety that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding," according to my MacBook dictionary).

So, if anyone knows anything about this mysterious fruit, do tell!

15 comments:

Melanie said...

I actaully saw the same fruit in Giant about a week ago and I bought two of them. I have yet to taste it yet b/c I wanted to look up more information about them on the internet and this is pretty much the only thing that I have found about them, so THANKS for creating this blog. I will let you know if I find anything else out about them. I am anxious to taste them.

Anonymous said...

I purchased and tried one last night (from local Giant store) - very tasty - similar to other plums though. ($1.99 a pound)

Dove Soup said...

Same here, found them last night at our Big Bird. I don't think they are ripe yet so we didn't taste them, I was hoping for a lemony flavor...

Memo Juez said...

I just came across them at our local Publix (grocery store.) These were listed as "tree ripened" and were a purplish red.

I too search the interwebs and found info lemon plum tomatoes but only this page was a true "hit." I was going to get one to try but it was $.60 more per lb.

straesser said...

i came upon these plum lemons in santa rosa. loved them. i heard there fro somwhere by modesto. if somebody finds them, i would love to get a tree for my back yard

Anonymous said...

I purchased two of these plums from a Publix in Tallahassee, Florida. I brought one for me one for my aunt she ate her immediately (while it was yellow) I ate mine once it changed colors. Like previous bloggers I was unable to find any information about this fruit on the internet.

Anonymous said...

I posted a comment a few minutes ago and with some determination, I was able to find some information about these plums.

Check out:
Fruit Buying Guide – February 2010

http://www.bestfruitnow.com/fruit-guide/fruit-buying-guide-february-2010/

"We in the business call this plum the Chameleon plum. It starts out green in color, then ripens to a bright yellow, then takes on hints of red before becoming a full orange red. So, the hard part is getting them just right. I suggest buying them yellow and eating them right away or you can wait until there is a hint of red. Usually by the time the color becomes full red the inside is starting to dry out."

LunarLex said...

I just had one...same thing saw a sign at Publix (our local market in SoFla)and just had to taste it. I opted for a firm one (yellow) and it was pretty good...actually think I tasted lemon but that could be psychological...I also can't find anything on the internet...so, what is it?

Anonymous said...

Yeah today ws teh first day I ever saw a lemon plum purchased 1 to give it a try cant find anythng on the web about them

Anonymous said...

I bought 2 a few days ago. I wanted to do research too before eating them. Couldn't find anything either so thanks for this info. I bought mine in Indiana for $1.99 lb. The sign said they were from Chili, and that they were ripe when they are yellow.

Anonymous said...

Well I just had my first one here in Michigan. It was yellowish and YUMMMY very juicy and just a hint of lemon I loved it but the store here sold the things for $3.99 a pound so not going to buy that many... I want to know more about them too so off I go to surf :)

Anonymous said...

Just had a photo shoot for an Easter brunch story that included fruit dumplings filled with what the chef here in Indianapolis called lemon plums; hadn't heard of them before. The dumplings looked gorgeous when cut open.

Laurence P. Lehman said...

As a resident of Santiago, Chile, I am pleased to inform you that this country is the source of the plum in question. Given the date of the other comments, it is clear that the total fruit has been exported until now; this sis the first year I have seen them in the Jumbo (local supermarket) and the ferias don't carry them at all.

w poo said...

Going through isons.com wonder if this lemon plum might be their "INCA" plum. Description is same, and they list it as 'new'.

Anonymous said...

Bought two at my Local Shoprite in Medford they were $2.99 a lb. I ate one last night and it was ok tasted like a plum was yellow and not quit ripe yet so I will let the other one sit till it turns red like someone posted above. I could not find much information on these but like the idea of yellow plum dumplings, will have to look into that.